HEALTH WORKERS in UNISON, the biggest union in the NHS, have been dismayed by the decision of union leaders to call off a ballot for industrial action. The union called the ballot in protest at the lousy 3 percent pay deal offered to cleaners, porters, and admin and clerical, and ambulance workers. Yet within days union leaders called off the vote - even though not a penny extra pay had been offered to some of the most poorly paid workers in the NHS.
The reason for this turnaround was a letter sent to top UNISON officials from the new health secretary, Alan Milburn, urging the union to call off the ballot. In Newcastle health workers are circulating an open letter to UNISON's head of health Bob Abberley registering their disgust at the decision. Health workers everywhere should follow suit.
Protests to Bob Abberley, UNISON Head of Health, 1 Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9AJ.